Kool & The Gang co-founder Ronald Bell has died at the age of 68 according to Huffington Post.
A representative for the musician said he died on Wednesday at his home in the US Virgin Islands with his wife by his side. No cause of death was released.
The beginnings of Kool & The Gang were formed when Bell and his brother Robert ‘Kool’ Bell would collect old paint cans and use them as makeshift percussion instruments.
They later went on to form the Jazziacs with friends Robert “Spike” Mickens, Dennis Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown, and Charles Smith, eventually becoming Kool & The Gang.
The singer and songwriter co-founded Kool & The Gang in New Jersey in 1964 and wrote some of the group’s best-known songs, including party staple Celebration, Cherish, Jungle Boogie, and Summer Madness.
The band were one of the biggest of the 1970s and won the Grammy for Album Of The Year in 1978 for their work on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
They are also one of the most sampled artists of all time, with the horns from their 1973 funky jam Jungle Boogie featuring hundreds of other songs.
In 2015, Kool & the Gang were honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
Despite his huge legacy, Bell remained humble when asked about his contributions to music in an interview with New Yorker in 2018:
A lot of the songs, I may have spearheaded them. But it’s really, with a ‘K,’ the [collective] genius of a band called Kool & The Gang.